And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven – Acts 2:5.
Years ago, when the word devout was used to describe a Christian, it meant that person was faithful to God and the things that pertained to Christianity. Most Christians today live according to the world’s actions, making people shun, turn away from, avoid, or be confused.
The Scriptures were written by holy men of God (about 40 in all) as the Holy Spirit moved them. While in no way denying the personalities of the human writers or rejecting the distinctiveness of their particular styles, the Holy Spirit controlled the process of bringing things to the writers’ memories and ensuring what they recorded was the very Word of God (All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness -2nd Timothy 3:16).
There should be a distinction between a believer and a nonbeliever. God is no longer just in the physical building that has been dedicated to Him, but He resides in the physical body of those that have received salvation from His Son, Jesus Christ (Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are – 1st Corinthians 3:16-17). God is holy, and His people should live holy lives dedicated to God.
If there were no distinction between the believer and the nonbeliever, there would not have been a cause for Jesus to die for the world’s sins! Many are serving God through guilt salvation; salvation has not entered their hearts. When salvation enters the heart, the person becomes a new creation (Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new – 2nd Corinthians 5:17). The lifestyle we lived prior to receiving salvation should no longer be lived but the new life lived by the instructions God has given to His people.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter and those who were with him in the upper room received the filling of the Holy Spirit. There were men from Jerusalem and Judea, about eighteen different people from different regions who heard them speak in their native language.
The Bible indicated they were devout men, but they were not devout men serving God according to His instructions; if they were, Peter wouldn’t have needed to tell them to repent for their sins and be baptized. The baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit are two different works performed by the Holy Spirit. The baptism is permanent, happening but once and for all. The filling is ongoing to the end of our lives.
The baptism of the Spirit is the act by which Jesus, through the Spirit at conversion, brings the believer into relation with Himself and makes the believer a part of God’s people, the church (For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made to drink into one Spirit – 1st Corinthians 12:13). The filling of the Spirit is not experienced by all believers; this is why many don’t grow spiritually, and they continue to stay baby Christians.
God holds every Christian responsible for their spiritual growth; He has given the means to grow, and it’s left up to the believer to receive it. The filling of the Spirit is the controlling influence of the Spirit within the believer. The filling is the continuous experience within the Christians whereby the Spirit, who already indwells him, keeps control over his life.
Christians have a manual to read and to adhere to if they want to be in a relationship with God, and if they want to enter heaven. Christians are to present their entire body holy to God (I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service – Romans 12:1). This includes your eyes, ears, and feet; eyes and ears shouldn’t be looking and listening to everything. Our feet should not be taking us places we know that Jesus would not be entering!
Yes, were living under Grace, but it does not give us the right to practice sin. Practicing sin as Christians is called carnal Christians. To be carnal-minded means to have one’s life dominated by a sinful nature; to be spiritual-minded is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Have you ever thought to yourself, those you know who live a sanctified life is doing it because they are following the instructions of the Bible?
You don’t know which one is coming first, death or Jesus, but whoever comes first, the spirit and body must be holy to God to enter heaven (Ye should earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints – Jude 3b). We must be sanctified, meaning we have dedicated our entire being to serving God and the Lord according to our instructions as Christians.
Jesus is returning for the body of Christ; we must be prepared for His coming, don’t live life according to what you think is right; read and study the Bible so that you can live your life according to God’s instructions given by God through godly men who wrote as He gave them instructions to write And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be – Revelation 22:12).